Careers with Dogs:
You CAN Have a Rewarding
Career with Canines!

If you think all careers with dogs require many years of expensive post-graduate education, think again. You no longer have to be a veterinarian to spend your days hanging out with canines (and other four-legged creatures).

As we humans demand more options and better care for our precious fur-kids, a whole host of exciting and interesting dog-related careers have sprung up. These careers offer dog-loving humans of every age the ability to positively impact the lives of our canine companions.

These careers with dogs also offer more flexibility than ever before when it comes to obtaining your educational training. Now, you have the ability to zero in and pick a career you love which also offers training that fits within your budget and schedule.

So, whether you have the time and means to return to school full-time or are looking for great distance learning opportunities that enable you to complete your education at home and at your own pace, chances are you will be able to find a career that’s right for you.

I’ve been happy to notice that there are now many careers with dogs within the holistic field of animal wellness – many of which offer flexible, part-time and even distance learning training opportunities.

Here are Some Exciting Careers with Dogs:

Before you decide to engage in training for any of these careers, however, you should check with your state's veterinary medical association to ascertain its rules and regulations regarding non-DVMs providing various alternative and complimentary animal care services. This is also true if you live in a country outside of the United States.

Tellington Touch
According to Tellington Touch Training, “TTouch - the Tellington TTouch - is a method based on circular movements of the fingers and hands all over the body. The intent of the TTouch is to activate the function of the cells and awaken cellular intelligence - a little like "turning on the electric lights of the body."

The TTouch is done on the entire body, and each circular TTouch is complete within itself. Therefore it is not necessary to understand anatomy to be successful in speeding up the healing of injuries or ailments, or changing undesirable habits or behavior.

To learn more about TTouch and find out the training schedule, visit .

  • Acupressure
  • Reiki
  • Healing Touch
  • Flower Essences
  • Aromatherapy
  • Color and Light Therapies
  • Animal Communication

For more information on the eight careers with dogs listed about, the International Association of Animal Massage & Bodywork is an excellent resource.

According to the IAAMB’s Web site, “The Association was founded as a forum for animal massage and bodywork professionals to network and support each other. Our members share a common goal of advancing the field of animal massage and bodywork.

With increased understanding and communication the International Association of Animal Massage and Bodywork enhances each of the many aspects and practices of animal care.

The IAAMB’s Web site also contains a list of schools providing educational training in the animal massage and bodywork fields. For more information, visit .

Physical Therapy
Two of the most noted certification programs in canine physical therapy are at the Canine Rehabiliation Institue (CRI) in Florida and The Certificate Program in Canine Rehabilitation at the University of Tennessee .

These programs have strict prerequisites for eligibility, so be sure to check the Web sites carefully to see if you qualify.

To learn more about careers in homeopathy and find a listing of educational resources, visit the National Center for Homeopathy or the North American Society of Homeopaths .

Through my research on homeopathy, I have found two animal homeopathy programs that provide distance learning (if anyone else finds more, please let me know!).

The British Institute (U.S.A. division) offers a program where you can earn your Certificate in Veterinary Homeopathy. It is an 80-hour program that takes 3 – 6 months to complete.

New Zealand-based Homeopathy College offers a One Year Foundation Course and a Four Year Professional Course in animal homeopathy, both of which can be taken via distance learning. The first is a certificate course, while the second is a diploma course designed to educate participants to practitioner level.

Herbal Medicine
The American Herbalists Guild is an excellent source of information pertaining to herbal medicine. The Guild’s Web site also contains a “Guide to Getting an Herbal Education”, which will tell you what you should look for when choosing an herbal education program.

Companion Animal Behavior Counseling
The American College of Applied Science offers a variety of intensive academic programs via distance learning, including:

Associate in Science Degree Program in Dog Training, Care and Caregiver Counseling

woman training dog

“This Associate in Science degree program is designed to prepare students for a career as a professional dog trainer, family dog training instructor, caregiver counselor in private practice or as a staff member of an animal-related facility such as a veterinary practice, dog training center, animal control facility, animal shelter, animal sanctuary, boarding kennel, dog day care center and alike.”

Master of Science Degree Program in Companion Animal Behavior Counseling

“This clinical graduate degree program for professionals is the first of its kind offered by a U.S. college or university and is designed with the working adult learner in mind. The program employs a scientist/practitioner model following the principles of applied behavior analysis and evidence based practice. It is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the field of companion animal behavior and provides graduates with the necessary knowledge, task, and leadership skill sets to work as applied animal behaviorists servicing over 150 million companion animals and their caregivers in the U.S. alone.”

Although not by nature holistic, if you want to work in a clinical setting side-by-side with veterinarians, you might want to consider studying to become a vet tech. If you can invest the time and financial expense for the training, a career as a veterinary technician might be right for you. To find the right veterinary technician school for you, visit

Vet Tech , which has put together a comprehensive list of vet tech schools and online vet tech programs.

Of course, there are many other careers with dogs in non-health related fields. If you want to work with dogs in a capacity other than health care, you may want to check out our article on how to become a dog groomer. You may also want to look into how to become a service dog trainer.

Hopefully, this article opened your eyes as to all of the exciting careers with dogs that are out there today. Of course, laws vary by state as to careers that non-veterinarians are allowed to pursue, so be sure to check with your state's veterinary board before pursuing any careers with dogs.

Good luck continuing your exploration and deciding which new career you want to em“bark” upon!

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